Sunday, September 28, 2008

New Baby Meal: Baked chicken, Spanish rice, Ramen slaw

No, not me, a friend. I have made quite a few meals for friends with new babies this year (lots of new babies around). I tend to make meat for them. Most of my friends are meat eaters, even though we aren't too big into the meat thing. Today I made baked chicken, rice, and cole slaw.

It's not too terribly hard as I just double the amount and we eat the same thing...

Herbed chicken breasts:
3 lb bone-in chicken breasts: $3.00 (on sale)
1/4 cup lemon juice: 0.30
3 cloves garlic: 0.30
marjoram, thyme, sage, rosemary, salt, pepper: 0.50
2 T olive oil: 0.20
Total: $4.30 (this amount of chicken will probably serve the family for 2-3 nights)

Preheat oven to 375F. Whisk olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, and spices in a bowl. Pour over/rub into chicken. Bake in greased pan in a single layer. 30 min covered with foil, then 20-30 min uncovered, depending on the size of the parts. Mine took a little longer. They were one lb each.

Spanish-style rice:
1 basket cherry tomatoes: $2.00
1.5 cup (9 oz) brown rice: 0.50
2.75 cup water
1 small onion: 0.15
3 cloves garlic: 0.30
1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp dried parsley, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper: 0.25
2 T canola oil: 0.10
1/4 cup frozen peas: 0.12
Total: $3.42 for about 5 cups, or about 6 servings (3 meals).

Slice cherry tomatoes in half. Toss with 1T oil and peeled garlic cloves. Roast at 350F, stirring occasionally, until soft and starting to carmelize. Slice garlic cloves.

Cook rice with 2.75 cup water in a rice cooker.

Saute onion in 1 T oil until soft. Add spices and saute 1 min. Add rice, tomatoes, roasted garlic slices, and stir-fry for 5 min until everything is warmed through. Add peas and cook until they are warm.

You can greatly decrease the cost of this dish by subbing 1 cup of canned diced tomatoes or a couple of Tbsp of paste for the roasted cherry tomatoes. We got tomatoes from the CSA this year. The diced tomatoes would decrease the total cost by about $1.80, to 1.62.

Ramen slaw: (recipe came from a friend's mom...I made it a bit healthier, but it still does use ramen!)
1 pkg coleslaw mix: $1.00
1/2 bunch green onions, sliced: 0.40
1 pkg chicken ramen: 0.20
1/2 c cashews, chopped (2 oz): 0.60
3 T. canola oil: 0.15
1/3 c. rice vinegar: 0.50
3 T sugar: 0.03
1/2 t. pepper
Total: $2.88 for about 6 servings.

Best when made several hours ahead.

Break up ramen noodles (uncooked) in the bottom of a bowl. Add cole slaw mix and green onions. Mix together.

Make dressing: mix sugar, vinegar, oil, and chicken seasoning packet in a bowl. Pour over salad and toss. Refrigerate.

Periodically stir the salad (will soften the noodles). Toss with chopped cashews before serving.

All told, this meal cost $10.60, and will probably feed my friends for three nights. That comes out to $3.53 per meal or about $1.77 per serving. It might not last long because the husband is tall, the wife is nursing, and they do have a toddler to share with.

Still, for less than the price of two burritos...dinner for a few days!

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